Oh anger…how I love anger. It ignites a fire underneath us to make change, it tells us something needs to be different, it motivates
us to right the wrongs in the world, it helps us move away from things that might hurt us, it makes us fight for justice and equality, it helps us on so many levels….oh how I love anger.
Oh anger…how I hate anger, it ignites a flame underneath us that cause us to lash out, to ruin relationships, to hurt others, to become bitter, reclusive and old before our time, it makes us behave in ways inconsistent with who we are, it steals our joy and robs us of living free…oh how I hate anger.
There is no denying that anger is an emotion of passion that can be used for good or for evil. When we remain in touch with our true core feelings anger is very useful because it alerts us that something is not quite right in our world or the world. Used as a tool it can lead us to closer relationships both with others and ourselves. Anger can also help us draw closer to God….that is IF we are aware and willing to admit we feel it and use it to teach us and guide us.
So, how do use anger to strengthen your life? I’m so glad you asked! The first step toward living courageously free is self awareness. You must be able to recognize not only the passionate anger that roars to the surface on occasion when triggered or poked but you must also be able to recognized the deep seated anger that lurks under the dark surface of your heart and be willing to admit to yourself that it’s there. I recommend that you set aside some time to sit quietly with your journal and ask God to reveal to you any anger that is in your life. Be open and willing to deeply explore your own heart.
I once had a client who refused to “be angry” because she was afraid she would hurt someone….I finally convinced her that entire body used the angry energy to create destructive habits and patterns in her life that deeply hurt those around her daily. Your deep seated “hidden” anger hurts those around you too. Once you begin to see how the dark, hidden anger is damaging you and those around you change can’t come quick enough. Once you are able to get in touch with your anger then you can begin to grieve, forgive and heal.
The first step in the process of healing anger is the gentle acknowledgement that it exists in the first place. The second step is to ask “Lord, who do I need to forgive?”. Finally, there is usually something we lost tangibly or intangibly so there is almost universally grief that follows anger. Part of the healing process is the allow our bodies the time and space to grieve. The good news about grief is that if we allow our bodies to feel it will heal us and make us whole again.
I know this seems simplistic but it is not easy to allow yourself to feel angry and other emotions like fear, shame, guilt, confusion and even more anger can surface when you do, but if you keep at it you can get to the bottom of anger, heal from whatever it is that caused it in the first place.